The following article describes the 2013 State budget; it also displays the size of a huge subsidy… over a billion dollars which may hunt us sooner or later…
Article written by Mery Vaca from La Paz, for El Deber:
The subsidy exceeds one billion dollars
The 2013 PGE increases the amount to keep in Bolivia: cheaper diesel, gasoline and LPG. The projected economic growth will be from 5.3% to 5.5 %
The General State budget (PGE) submitted by the Executive to the legislative has some pros and cons. In 2013, the Bolivian economy will grow above the average for Latin America. However, the fuel subsidy will go as high as $1,060 million. This is with the aim that gasoline, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) not raise their price to the rhythm of the international market.
By 2013, the proposed budget ($25,076 million) is 18% higher than the 2012 ($21,274 million), as explained by economy Minister Luis Arce.
According to the projection of the Executive, next year the economy will grow by 5.5%. This 2012 will end with 5.3%.
The other two indicators which showed Arce is that the average growth in Latin America will be 3.9%, while that for the world economy forecast is 3.6%.
But, as already planned, it also includes the subsidy to hydrocarbons, which overcomes the barrier of the us $1 billion for the first time. This means an increase of $79 million.
President Evo Morales returned to put the issue on the table in the debate. “Okay, you have to subsidize our people because they are natural resources from us, but we can not subsidize Peruvians, Brazilians, Paraguayans or other neighbouring countries,” he said.
Despite this strong expenditure, Arce hopes that the country can keep the surplus registered during the past seven years.
It projected a deficit for the public sector of 4.6% and the General Treasury of the State (TGE), 4.8 per cent, but expected reversal of these percentages. It is expected to conclude this year with a surplus of 1% or 1.5%.
Another indicator which, according to the Government, shows the economic stability is inflation, which will close this year between 4.5% and 4.8%. 4.5% Is predicted for 2013.
In the opinion of the former President of the Association of Economists of Bolivia Victor Hugo Figueroa, the Government can breathe easy, since in 2013 the international prices of raw materials will remain on the rise.
On the subsidy for fuel, he pointed out that it is more political than economic.
They disagree on the salary
The Government and legislators entered into contradictions about the wage increase projected for 2013. Official Senator David Sanchez announced that the increase will range between 5% and 6%, but the Minister of Economy, Luis Arce, ensured that the figure is not yet closed.
The strange thing is that Sanchez reported this percentage after a long meeting which took the MAS congress people with Arce, who explained the details of the 2013 PGE in the morning.
But at the press conference, Arce refused to confirm the announced increase and said that you must wait the end of the year and have the percentage of inflation to calculate the increase.
The COB [main workers’ union], through their leaders, meanwhile, stepped forward to reject the increase announced by the legislator.
So, strikes will happen again by the beginning of the year… as it happened over and over for most of our history. Bolivians need to change, need to work, need to be competitive!